U.S. News

2 killed in shooting at California high school — suspect in 'grave condition' in custody

Key Points
  • Two people were killed and others injured in a shooting at a Santa Clarita, California, high school on Thursday.
  • The suspected gunman was identified as Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, 16, multiple law enforcement sources told NBC News.
  • Berhow was one of six students found with gunshot wounds and is in custody in "grave condition."
Ambulances are parked outside of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Santa Clarita, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez | AP

Two students — a 16-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy — were killed and others injured in a shooting at a Santa Clarita, California high school on Thursday, Los Angeles County authorities said.

The suspected gunman was identified as Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, 16, multiple law enforcement sources told NBC News. Authorities said Berhow's 16th birthday was on Thursday. No motivation or ideology has been determined yet.

Berhow is in custody and in "grave condition" at the hospital, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a press conference. Multiple officials initially said Berhow was dead.

Police and firefighters responded to reports of a shooting at 7:38 a.m. PT and arrived on the scene shortly after, authorities said during a press conference. When first responders arrived at the high school, they found six students with gunshot wounds, including the suspected shooter.

The suspect, later identified as Berhow, pulled out a gun in the high school quad and shot five students and then himself, authorities said during the press conference. A .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol was recovered at the scene and did not have any more bullets in it.

Authorities identified the other victims as two females, one aged 14 and the other aged 15, and one male who is 14 years old.

Initial reports from the Los Angeles County Fire Department indicated there were as many as seven victims, but authorities revised that number as information became more clear.

The high school, which is almost 40 miles north of Los Angeles, counts roughly 2,400 students, according to its website.

People are lead out of Saugus High School after reports of a shooting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Santa Clarita, Calif. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says on Twitter that deputies are responding to the high school about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
KTTV-TV

News footage immediately following the incident showed students being evacuated from buildings behind armed law enforcement.

Some students were locked in classrooms for more than an hour as authorities searched for the shooter, the Los Angeles Times reported. Authorities initially cautioned the shooter could be at large, prompting lockdowns at neighboring schools.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station told those who lived in neighborhoods near the high school to lock their doors, stay inside and to call 911 if they saw a male in dark clothing.

"We are currently in the process of formulating a plan to care for our school and our community — and will continue sharing updates as we learn more — including the plan for the days ahead," Mike Kuhlman, deputy superintendent of the William S. Hart Union High School District, said in a statement.

President Donald Trump was made aware of the shooting and was monitoring the situation, Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere told CNBC in a statement.

"The White House encourages all those in the area to follow the advice of local law enforcement and first responders," Deere said.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the suspect had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

This is a developing story. Please check back in for details.